The plague and the Golden Age

During the war, Pericles ordered all citizens of Athens who lived outside the city walls to move to the city center. As a result, the surrounding countryside was abandoned to the enemy. However, this decision had an even more devastating effect on the Athenian population. Due to poor hygiene, the plague spread in the city.

The plague lasted more than two years and killed more than a third of the population. Pericles was removed from his position and also accused of embezzling state funds. In 429 BC the people of Athens re-elected him as their strategist (strategos), but he died only three months later of plague-related complications. The war, however, dragged on (until 404 BC).

In the year of Sophocles’ death (406 BC), the Athenians won their last great victory i...

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